1.4 Who Should Get HPRP Assistance: A Discussion on Targeting (ppt)


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Is your HPRP program serving the right people, at the right time, with the right resources? Early reports on HPRP implementation indicate that many communities are afraid to assist unemployed and extremely low income households for fear that they will be unable sustain their housing. Are they missing the boat? This workshop will explore through an interactive discussion the HPRP eligibility and targeting dilemma and offer concrete steps to analyze if your community is targeting well.

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  • These eligibility criteria apply to ALL households receiving HPRP assistance, whether RRH or Prevention. Initial Consultation & Eligibility Determination: the household must receive at least an initial consultation and eligibility assessment with a case manager or other authorized representative who can determine eligibility and the appropriate type of assistance needed; Income: the household’s total income must be at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI); Housing Status: the household must be either homeless (for rapid re-housing assistance) OR at risk of losing its housing (for homelessness prevention assistance); AND meet both of the following circumstances: No appropriate subsequent housing options have been identified; The household lacks the financial resources and support networks needed to obtain immediate housing or remain in its existing housing. The assessment of other financial resources, support networks, and subsequent housing options is essentially the “but for” rule. Important to strictly follow the participant eligibility requirement. The number one monitoring finding in HUD homeless programs is eligibility of clients . This will be a primary focus when HUD reviews.
  • We want to be clear, however, about the difference between eligibility criteria and targeting. How to target is one of the biggest questions that communities implementing HPRP have had. First, eligibility criteria are set for HPRP based on the HPRP Notice. Eligibility is determined in the required initial assessment, and is based on whether the applicant household is at or below 50% of AMI (or lower if a grantee made that requirement lower than 50%), whether they are homeless or at-risk of losing their present housing, whether they lack other appropriate subsequent housing options, and whether they lack financial resources and support networks to obtain or remain in housing. All households receiving HPRP assistance must meet these criteria. Targeting, however, is trickier – it is typically based on factors beyond basic eligibility that allow grantees and subgrantees to identify and serve persons with specific characteristics or risk factors. The decisions that a community makes around targeting will impact decisions around the type, level and duration of assistance a program offers a given household. At the same time, program design decisions will impact the target population that is best served by a program. Targeting may involve focusing on specific sub-populations, such as young parents. HPRP programs that serve young parents would then assess and provide HPRP assistance to households that meet HPRP eligibility requirements. Targeting may also involve setting more stringent eligibility criteria than required by HUD for HPRP in order to serve persons determined to be at more imminent risk of homelessness. A grantee may decide, for example, to limit eligibility to households at or below 30% of AMI or serve only those households who will lose housing in the next seven days OR to serve all households who meet basic HPRP eligibility, and decide to provide more intensive and expensive assistance to those households with greater needs. Some grantees have set lower income targets and, in some cases, combined lower income eligibility thresholds with additional risk factors as a way to better target those at-risk of homelessness. For example, a household on the verge of becoming homeless within a few days may require more services or a higher level of assistance to avoid homelessness and stabilize in housing than a household whose risk of homelessness is not as imminent or one who may only need a shorter period of financial assistance to stabilize in housing. Lastly, targeting may also involve identifying persons who are best served by the program, based on the program design and intended target population. For example, if a grantee makes a policy based on resources, population, etc, and limits HPRP assistance to a maximum three months, then this is a targeting criterion, and the subgrantee may limit assistance to households assessed to need no more than three months of HPRP assistance in order to stabilize and sustain housing. HPRP Prevention assistance is intended to target households most at risk of becoming homeless. However, there has not been a lot of research to tell us what the best predictive factors are to determine likelihood of homelessness. HUD understands that this is not like looking into a crystal ball – there is no reliable way to accurately and consistently predict whether someone seeking assistance is going to become homeless. We know that grantees/subgrantees are not going to make a perfect decision every time – some people that you serve with prevention assistance would not have become homeless without the assistance. Some people that you choose not to serve will become homeless. That said, it may make sense to err on the side of serving people who need a little extra assistance, even if it means that they need more than 2 or 3 months of assistance, because they are more likely to have become homeless. What we are looking for when we go out to monitor communities is whether HPRP staff are making the eligibility determination for each household in a thorough, thoughtful, and consistent manner, using all of the information that is available – and documenting it.
  • Greatest risk means that, per above, household has exhausted all reasonable options and is on the verge of needing emergency shelter without assistance. Challenge for many grantees is understanding and identifying households who are at greatest risk. As mentioned, the farther one gets from the point of needing emergency shelter, the more difficult it is to predict who will ultimately need it. Persons experiencing a housing crisis typically will exhaust most, if not all, of their resources and reasonable housing options before seeking emergency shelter. However, we also know that many who do reach out for shelter may still be able to keep their current housing or relocate to other, permanent housing, with assistance from HPRP.
  • As was written in the HPRP Notice: “HUD expects that HPRP resources will be targeted and prioritized to serve households that are most in need of temporary assistance and are most likely to achieve stable housing.” We go on to say: “Grantees and subgrantees may also consider the expected ability of the program participant to achieve stable housing, unsubsidized or subsidized, outside of HPRP.” The intention of the program, because it’s a part of the Recovery Act, is to serve people with temporary assistance. We are aware that some grantees and subgrantees have decided that, in addition to HPRP criteria, to be eligible for HPRP assistance a household must demonstrate that they have or will have income to be able to sustain housing once the HPRP assistance ends. While grantees and subgrantees may establish such additional eligibility criteria, this is not a HUD requirement . We are looking at outcomes, with the intent that people are using HPRP funds to get stabilized. The national outcome measure is what percentage of persons served are stably housed upon exit of the HPRP program. This measure is set at 70% for HPRP nationally, which is lower than the national measures for the Continuum of Care programs. We are aware, however, that--just like efforts to predict who will become homeless but for HPRP assistance--it isn’t possible to accurately predict who will be most likely to achieve stable housing at the term of HPRP assistance. Some people assisted with HPRP will not be stably housed when the assistance ends, whether it’s 3 months, 6 months, 18 months. HOWEVER, BY CONDUCTING THOROUGH ASSESSMENTS OF HOUSING NEEDS/BARRIERS AND PROVIDING ADEQUATE SUPPORT SERVICES, WE HOPE THIS WILL BE THE EXCEPTION RATHER THAN THE RULE. Grantees and subgrantees should be cautious not to exclude households who may be appropriately served by HPRP simply because they presently lack income to sustain housing and/or are assessed to have significant barriers to sustain housing. Remember, HPRP assistance is flexible and persons with greater needs can receive assistance too – it just might be for a longer period of time and they might need more services to get back on their feet. And that’s okay.    At a minimum, programs must determine that applicant households meet HPRP eligibility criteria and, therefore, without HPRP assistance will require emergency shelter or remain homeless. The challenge for grantees and subgrantees is to target assistance to households who would meet basic eligibility criteria and are best served by HPRP, while redirecting persons with more intensive needs to other, more appropriate assistance such as permanent supportive housing. However, in some cases it may be appropriate to use HPRP as a bridge to assist a household before they’re able to obtain other, ongoing and/or more intensive or appropriate assistance. Let’s look at the following case scenarios.
  • Not clear whether households likely to become homeless are less likely to know about services or to seek help or whether the fact that it is widely known in the community that services are only for better off households keep them away, but my research in Alameda County and that of HomeBase in New York indicates that homeless households often do not seek help until they begin to look for shelter. Putting prevention and rehousing services at the shelter front door therefore makes a lot of sense
  • 1.4 Who Should Get HPRP Assistance: A Discussion on Targeting (ppt)

    1. 1. Who Should Get HPRP Assistance: A Discussion on Targeting National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference Tom Albanese Katharine Gale July 12, 2010
    2. 2. Shifting Federal Emphasis: HPRP & HEARTH Act <ul><li>Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted prevention (‘but for’), rapidly ending homelessness, housing stabilization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus: grantee/sub-grantee performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>HEARTH Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CoC, ESG, Rural programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus: CoC, ESG grantee performance </li></ul></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    3. 3. HUD Eligibility Requirements <ul><li>Initial Consultation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Required to establish eligibility and appropriate type of assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Income </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be at or below 50 percent of AMI </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Housing Status </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is homeless (for rapid re-housing assistance) OR at imminent risk of homelessness (for prevention assistance); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AND : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lacks financial resources and support networks needed to obtain or remain in housing; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has no subsequent housing options. </li></ul></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    4. 4. Eligibility vs. Targeting <ul><li>Participant eligibility: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether participants meet HUD’s minimum requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targeting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process of determining the target population to serve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeting decisions impact program design and program design decisions impact targeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May focus on … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specific homeless or at-risk sub-populations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Households at more imminent risk of homelessness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Households served based on program design </li></ul></ul></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    5. 5. Who should be served with HPRP homelessness prevention assistance? <ul><li>Homelessness prevention : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Household will imminently lose current housing and will be literally homeless without (“ but for”) HPRP assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUT FOR = 1) no other housing options AND 2) no resources OR support networks to maintain/obtain housing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I ntent is to assist households who are at the greatest risk of becoming literally homeless and requiring emergency shelter </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    6. 6. How do we know who is most likely to “achieve stable housing”? <ul><li>HPRP Notice: may consider “expected ability of the program participant to achieve stable housing, unsubsidized or subsidized, outside of HPRP” </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration that applicant has or will have income is not a HUD requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on program targeting and program design (i.e. type/level/duration of HPRP assistance) </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    7. 7. Key Terms <ul><li>Targeting: The process of determining the target population for assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Screening: The initial process used to gather information about whether a household fits targeting and eligibility criteria and, in some instances, to determine the severity or urgency of their immediate situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritization: The process of ranking or triaging households for assistance based upon certain factors, such as the immediacy and severity of their needs and/or other characteristics. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    8. 8. Key Terms <ul><li>Housing Stability Assessment: An in-depth information gathering process that is used to identify housing barriers so an eligible household can receive the appropriate type(s) (e.g., financial assistance, case management, legal assistance, or mediation), intensity and duration of assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Plan & Service Matching: The process of aligning households barriers and goals with the most appropriate resources to achieve housing stability. This alignment may occur at different levels. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    9. 9. Targeting Challenges: Prevention <ul><li>Traditional prevention programs have generally been targeted to households with their own apartment and who are in danger of losing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Spending prevention funds on households that can’t prove that they can sustain their housing in the following month has been seen as a “bad risk” and usually not done. </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention programs historically rely on self referral by persons who recognize that they have a need for assistance and have the ability to get themselves connected to help. Little outreach is conducted. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    10. 10. Targeting Challenges: Prevention <ul><li>Problem is, there is little evidence that these programs reach the population most likely to become homeless without assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Research on persons who sought prevention assistance and persons who entered shelter reveals that: </li></ul><ul><li>- People who become homeless often didn’t seek or find help until after they lost their own place (if they had one to begin with.) </li></ul><ul><li>- Program rules often screened out the people most likely to become homeless, such as families that are already doubled up or with only TANF income. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    11. 11. Targeting Challenges: Rapid Rehousing <ul><li>Rapid Rehousing programs (a newer type of program in most communities) are sometimes specifically targeted to people with the most resources and the least barriers to rehousing. This group may be most likely to be able to get rehoused on their own </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily bad to help them with limited assistance, but persons with greater barriers or more limited resources should not be left in shelter if through rapid rehousing they can be housed more quickly and receive support to address the barriers and income needs after becoming housed. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    12. 12. Targeting Strategies <ul><li>The HUD Notice for HPRP identified factors that are thought to increase the likelihood of becoming homeless. </li></ul><ul><li>Using locally available data to look at the most common situations and conditions that people who enter shelters report can also help refine targeting criteria. For example, shelter data may show large numbers of entries by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who were doubled up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People recently who left institutional settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Families with a TANF case </li></ul></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    13. 13. Targeting Strategies <ul><li>Targeting may be used to prioritize or restrict some or all services to specific risk groups, or to develop program designs that incorporate targeted outreach strategies or partnerships with other agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>CAUTION: Targeting factors are best based on current material conditions and not primarily on the past or on personal characteristics. The predictive value of these things are not well enough established and may be perceived as arbitrary or discriminatory. </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting does NOT take the place of assessment. All households still need to be assessed to see if they would become homeless BUT FOR this assistance. </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    14. 14. A word on housing stability <ul><li>The goal of HPRP services is to help households with a housing crisis to achieve housing stability. </li></ul><ul><li>Housing stability does not necessarily mean housing affordabilit y. </li></ul><ul><li>More than half of households in poverty spend over half their income for housing, yet fewer than 10% of all poor households become homeless over the course of a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Once the crisis is addressed, most households will avoid future episodes of homelessness even if they have very high housing cost burdens. (NAEH Solution Brief 6/25/2010) </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference
    15. 15. HPRP Case Scenarios <ul><li>How do we identify and assess people who but for this assistance would become homeless? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we say no to others who also appear in need? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the characteristics of households who are most appropriate for Rapid Re-Housing assistance? </li></ul><ul><li>What does housing stability look like and how can HPRP assistance assist in achieving housing stability? </li></ul>2010 NAEH Annual Conference